Sam Elliott Was Pitched ‘A Star is Born’ by Bradley Cooper By Actor Impersonating His Legendary Voice

by Suzanne Halliburton

Sam Elliott has that perfect voice. It’s like velvet stretched over gravel. It’s his signature. If you only heard audio, you could instantly identify the actor.

So it was kind of weird for Sam Elliott when another actor pitched a part in a movie using Elliott’s voice. Good thing Bradley Cooper didn’t put on a moustache, too, when he asked Elliott to take a role. That would’ve been creepy, right?

Sam Elliott said yes to Cooper’s invite to appear in a remake of A Star Is Born. And Elliott talked about the decision to accept the role — and how it happened — in a 2019 interview with Deadline.

So about that Bradley Cooper pitch.

“It was pretty unsettling to say the least,” Sam Elliott said. “And I think he prefaced with, before he put it on, “This is going to sound a little weird.” And he was right, it did. But I thought, “God, if this is where this guy’s really going to go with his sound, lucky me.”

“He kind of boxed himself in, as I said, to sound like me. I’m not sure which came first. And I’ve heard him say both, but I really think that he settled on the voice, the sound, before he thought of me playing that part. I may be wrong, because I’ve heard him say that he wrote it for me, which I don’t…I’m not sure.”

Sam Elliott Played Bradley Cooper’s Big Brother in Movie

Sam Elliott played Bradley Cooper’s older brother in the movie. Cooper was Jackson Maine, the alcoholic singer-songwriter who meets and falls in love with Lady Gaga’s Ally. As Ally’s career zooms, Jackson’s hits its nadir.

And as fans of A Star Is Born are aware, Bradley Cooper work to deepen his voice for the role. And he really did try to sound as much like Sam Elliott as possible.

Cooper told talk show host Stephen Colbert: “One of the things, I knew I wanted to lower my voice. But I didn’t want to make him too country. Sam Elliott is from Sacramento, but his mother was from Texas. So he has this accent that you can’t quite place. But it’s so wonderfully iconic.”

Elliott, as Bobby Maine, Jack’s older brother, tries to help. He’s the singer’s manager. But Jackson kicks him out. His addiction is too controlling of his life.

“It speaks to so many people I think,” Sam Elliott said of one of the movie’s key scenes. “That just destroys people when they see it. It’s one of the reasons that people weep in this film, the addiction thing. I don’t think there’s anybody that doesn’t know somebody that’s touched by it, if not directly going through it.”

Bradley Cooper, even if he tried to mimic his signature voice, provided Sam Elliott one of most significant parts ever. Elliott is known for playing the straight-talking cowboy types. His face, voice and moustache just scream Western.

With A Star is Born, Sam Elliott earned his first-ever Academy Award nomination. He also received nominations from the Golden Globes and the Screen Actor’s Guild. He won best supporting actor as selected by the National Board of Review.

We’re all glad Bradley Cooper tried to sound like Sam Elliott and that he brought him along for the beautiful ride.